(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fresh single: Jarabe de Palo, "Vecina"

Hoping that the summer never ends

The first taste of "Vecina" is rootsy and sincere. Calling the vibe "Americana" hardly seems appropriate for Barcelona's Jarabe de Palo, but this band has a great ear for setting up a simple rhythm and letting it flow. Imagine The Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden" without Mick Jagger's pouty strut. The groove is as comfortable as a perfect pair of Levi's and well-worn boots. The organ and sax accompaniment provide soulful touches. This is a song that captures an end-of-summer feel that seems just right for a chilly Autumn day with damper weather.

The lyrics capitalize on that feel; after spending a summer admiring his beautiful neighbor as she soaks in the sun, lead singer Pau Donés finally works up the nerve to make his move: "Soy ese chico que ves desde tu jardín/ Solo quería algún día invitarte a salir." (tr. "I'm the guy you see from your garden/ I only wanted to ask you out someday") Don't let the voyeuristic story line color your impressions; "Vecina" is fairly innocent and wholesome, with more metaphor than sly innuendo.

Jarabe de Palo are on tour here in the US throughout October, wrapping up November 1 in San Francisco. If they pass through your town, immerse yourself in some continental Latin music. It's also worth checking out their latest release, Somos. In the meantime, I'll settle into the sunny sway of "Vecina" and, just like Donés sings, "Este verano que espero no tenga fin."

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